Better Capital to raise fresh funds

The Jon Moulton-led firm, whose Fund II is two-thirds committed, is planning to issue new shares in the coming months.

Eighteen months after launching its second listed vehicle, Better Capital is about to get back on the fundraising trail. 

The firm is to issue new shares later this year in the 2012 Cell, a London-listed vehicle that provides exposure to its second fund, it said in a statement. The fresh equity will be issued at a premium to NAV, which stood at £103 (€121.52, $158.25) as at Wednesday. The fund’s existing shares traded at £106.49, a 3.4 percent premium to NAV, on the same day. 

Launched in January 2012, the fund is now close to two-thirds deployed, according to broking group Numis Securities. “Better Capital is attracting sufficient opportunities for the profitable deployment of the remainder of Fund II in the near term,” the firm’s board said. 

Fund II, which has a target to invest in at least six companies, has £55.9 million of cash. It can invest up to 30 percent outside the UK and Ireland.

Its portfolio counts three investments, the latest of which was Citylink, an express courier business it bought for a symbolic £1 from Rentokil Initial last April. Previous acquisitions include double-glazing provider Everest, in which it invested £30 million in March, and fashion retailer Jaeger, bought for £40 million in April 2012. 

The news comes a few months after the firm formed a joint venture with the National Pensions Reserve Fund, an Irish pension, and opened a Dublin office to source deals in the country. The NPRF has plans to invest up to €50 million in the vehicle, which will target distressed investments. Better Capital’s Fund II will match these commitments one-to-one, bringing the vehicle’s investment capacity to €100 million. 

The investment period for Fund II runs until 31 December 2014. It can be extended by 12 months or more following a future fundraising, pending approval by the board.

The firm’s previous vehicle, a 2009 vintage, is now fully invested. Now in realisation mode, it has returned £26.5 million to shareholders since the beginning of the year.